Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Nain Rouge Or That Wicked Little Dwarf In A Tattered Red Coat

There's an old story in Detroit about an evil dwarf in a tattered red coat that comes around when something bad is going to happen. That little bastard, aka the Nain Rouge, appears as a small child-like creature with red or black fur boots. It is also said to have "blazing red eyes and rotten teeth." Famous multiple sighting occurred in the days before the 1805 fire which destroyed most of Detroit. General William Hull reported a "dwarf attack" in the fog just before his surrender of Detroit in the War of 1812. He's also appeared before fires and riots and is known as a "harbinger of doom." Most recently, two Detroiters leaving a bar before a big storm said they saw him wearing and I quote, "an ass nasty red coat."

I suppose we all have our red dwarfs, things that tell us that something wicked is on the way. For me, it's always been birds and dreams of weddings. I use to keep a set of Chinese fortune telling sticks in my office and pull them out for inspiration until I got shitty fortunes for days. I became convinced the sticks were evil and that good fortune was hiding from me. Hey, what can I say? I grew up in a world in which Smurf figurines were believed to be Satanic and able to come alive at night if the Devil possessed them. I suppose my Smurfette figurine in this case would become like Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby, impregnated by Papa Smurf. But I digress. I kind of like the idea of the evil nain rouge. Supposedly he loves to dance on the riverfront in the dead of winter, telling people not to get complacent. Even though I don't believe that the Devil is coming in the form of a Smurf, it's good to remember evil is out there, especially given that its favorite trick is to make us forget it exists.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I'm for whatever gets you through the night." Frank Sinatra

Cocktail Hour

Magic Potion
1. Prepare creepy crawler ice ring.
2. Pour bowling water over gelatin in heatproof bowl; stir until gelatin dissolves. Stir in cold water. Add lemon-lime beverage and sugar; stir well (mixture will foam for several minutes).
3. Unmold ice ring by dipping bottom of mold briefly into hot water. Float ice ring in punch and garnish with gummy worms.

1 cup boiling water
2 packages of lime flavored gelatin
3 cups of cold water
1 1/2 quarters of carbonated lemon-lime beverage (chilled)
1/2 cup of superfine sugar
gummy worms

Creepy Crawler Ice Ring Recipe
1 cup of gummy worms
1 quart of Gatorade
Freeze overnight.

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Wednesday! Thanks for all the computer help -- my most faithful is feeling much better. Tomorrow is Devil's Night!


Lana Gramlich said...

The only red dwarf I remember is a hella funny BBC TV show, but the lesson about complacency is apt, nonetheless!

Scott said...

Hi Michelle!

I've never heard of the evil dwarf before...that's very interesting. Reminds me of a song by the band Candlemass called "Black Dwarf", about, well, an evil dwarf.

Do people still set stuff on fire in Detroit on Devil's Night?

Take care!

laughingwolf said...

what about the two wearing red caps on your chest? :O lol

for good entertainment this time of year, scare up an original copy of 'black christmas'... yeah, the canuck one, even if it's halloween shortly ;)

Laura Benedict said...

Gatorade AND gummy worms AND lime jello! This is fabulous--thank you!!!

I'm intrigued by the dwarf story. It made me think of 'Don't Look Now,' an amazing 1974 film with Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie about a couple recovering from the death of their young daughter. Sutherland is convinced he sees his daughter in her red coat all over the Italian city they're visiting--Finally, he catches up with the figure in the coat. You can probably guess the rest!

I totally stole the idea for Isabella Moon--I loved the idea of a child represented by a bright piece of clothing. But I was clever and made her coat yellow! ;)

the walking man said...

I've seen a short person wearing an ass nasty red coat around here for long time...oh wait that was Santa Claus after he was put out of work by the factories. That vengeful bastard must be the reason they all moved away from Detroit and went to China.

Scott...every year the city government mobilizes thousands of citizens who "patrol" the streets with two way radio's. It is also good for city workers who get OT to work an extra shift for a few days.

The amount of fires in recent years has been pretty consistent with normal for a place of this size. But there are more abandoned dwellings now then ever before so it remains to be seen what the night brings.

Personally I think it could be a fire filled night except for most of the places don't have any insurance on them so there is no point in burning them down because there is still copper and stuff to strip off of them.

Charles Gramlich said...

Kind of cool, kind of creepy. Wicked little red dwarf. sounds like a good title, or maybe a line from a Black Sabbath Tune, a companion piece to "Fairies wear boots"

Wichita-Lineman said...

I like to leave offerings for the demons, best to stay on their good side. Whiskey seems to be their favorites, mine too, but then again, one persons offering is another man's demon.

Nain Rouge would certainly explain many of Detroit's misfortunes. Wouldn't surprise me if he was living under or near the Renascence center seeing how well GM has been doing. Perhaps he's been spending his Sunday’s drinking beer and watching the Lions play at Ford Field, there's an excuse the Fords could jump on.


the walking man said...

For the first time...The national guard is deploying 25 soldiers to "help" patrol for Devils Night.

The Detroit Free Press article did not say if they would be in full battle gear or what area of the city they would be patrolling.

jodi said...

Hello Girl, I am petrified of dwarfs, gnomes, trolls and the like. They seriously creep me out. Seems like they exist halfway between the dead and alive. Remind me to tell you the story of a friend that woke up to a naked dwarf (little person) in his apartment. TRUE story!!!! xo

jodi said...

Oh, and one more thing. My son and his friends used to be volunteer Angels in Detroit. He said it gave him reason to party and get close to the action without getting caught. What can I say--He's my kid. xoxo